SMART CLARK GIGA CITY–Matthew Wright was in the right place at the right time when he pulled Phoenix Super LPG out of danger and into the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals—a fitting act to earn the Cignal TV-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week award for the period of November 9 to 15.
Wright came up clutch in one of the biggest games of his career when he knocked down a running triple to cap his 32-point explosion in their nail-biting 89-88 victory over the Magnolia Hotshots in the quarterfinals.
The Fil-Canadian sniper also registered five rebounds and nine assists to improve his averages of 20.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists during his team’s three-game winning run in the previous week, an important stretch that provided them the slingshot to the No. 2 seed and the twice-to-beat incentive.
The 29-year-old cager tallied 17 points, six rebounds and five assists in a 100-95 victory against Blackwater then chalked up 11 markers, eight dimes and two boards in a crucial 90-88 triumph over Rain or Shine.
Wright is on track to fulfill his ambition of winning an MVP award should the league hand out one in this remarkable bubble season. He leads the statistical race with 35.9 SPs built on conference norms of 22.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 6.0 assists.
But the Gilas Pilipinas standout is focused on giving Phoenix its first-ever championship as he tries to emulate six-time MVP and eight-time champion June Mar Fajardo.
“I feel like I’m one of the best. I know that in order to be mentioned among the best, you have to win certain awards and championships. I’m trying to focus on that and doing the right thing,” said Wright.
“If you do the right thing and you’re humble, those awards will come. Look at June Mar, he’s the most humble guy in the world so I’m trying to take a page from his book. We have seven wins left until the championship. I’d worry about that (MVP) when it’s all said and done,” he added.
Aaron Black, meanwhile, was named Rookie of the Week for the second straight time after helping Meralco make its first semifinal appearance in the all-Filipino conference.
The 18th overall pick in last year’s draft dished out 9.33 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists as the Bolts tripped NorthPort, 89-73, before dethroning San Miguel with a 78-71 decision and 90-68 rout in the quarterfinals.